Going to a Moto GP race is always a bit of a spectacle and this year was no different. It’s the highlight of the year for me as it’s such a fun way to spend a weekend, I really can’t recommend it highly enough, especially the Brno round. There was a massive crowd this year, I haven’t seen any official figures but I’d say there were easily….ooooh 3.5 million people there.
Ok maybe not but it was definitely bigger all round than last year, which was our first experience of Moto GP in the flesh. Does it lose some excitement second time round? Hells no it doesn’t! The electricity in the air when Rossi goes past is something that will never get old. We knew it was going to be a lot busier as soon as we arrived in the campsite and went to find “our” spot from last year, only to find that whole area was completely taken and we had to move several hundred meters further back. The second clue was on Sunday morning when we noticed a LOT of people heading towards the track at the same time we had a year previously. Only that time it was only us and a handful of people and C (The banking area where we sat) was mostly empty.
There was a real party atmosphere from the moment we arrived in the campsite, with the signs of a crazy Friday night clear to see all around us with already broken tents and destroyed motorcycle parts littering the ground. We made our way to the bar near the track-side exit to relax after our journey from Pardubice. No sooner had we sat down when the tooting of a horn made everyone turn around to look, and sure enough there’s a bunch of lads on an upturned table being dragged around the campsite by their friend on his motorbike. This is completely normal. We know this now having witnessed the madness of the Brno campsite last year.
It was really cool to see the exact same groups of people setting up camp in the same spot they had done last year, including the group that went all out with a projector screen showing classic racing action as well as AC-DC and Iron Maiden concert performances. Needless to say their camp drew a large crowd as Saturday evening wore on.
Bikers are certainly consistent when it comes to music as almost every tent you walked past had metal or hard rock music blaring out from some portable speakers, Rammstein proving to be quite popular indeed. We stayed awake as long as we could Saturday evening, taking in all the sights, smells and of course sounds going on around the campsite.
Brick Tamland from Anchorman would have been proud of the noise levels on display with a number of crazy contraptions pumping out ear-splitting noise all night long. LOUD NOIIIIIISES!!!! So needless to say if you’re the quiet type and looking to take the family for a nice relaxing, peaceful and quiet camping trip while going to the Moto GP….DON’T go to the main campsite. It’s party central and it’s awesome! I’d honestly go just for the campsite alone, it’s that much fun.
So on to race-day Sunday and the potential for Marc Marquez to win his eleventh race in a row. The boy is just pure talent. Of course the majority of the crowd wanted someone else to win of course, the legend that is Valentino Rossi. The Rossi fanclub is always the biggest part of the crowd, no matter what race you go to and this year’s turnout was easily twice the size of last years. Rossi’s resurgent season has won him back plenty of admirers who perhaps grew disenchanted after the last few barren seasons.
The atmosphere in the stadium section where we sat again this year was something else. It felt like a World Cup final, it was that electric, and the race certainly helped add to that. I’m sure you all know the result by now but if not then SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!…….Now that’s out of the way, what a fantastic day’s racing! Ok maybe not the Moto 2 race which was a bit boring but the Moto 3 and Moto GP races certainly lived up to expectations. Great to see Danny Kent getting on the podium in the Moto 3 race, which could have been won by any number of riders it was that close.
I like to be objective as I can on this blog but fuck it, WHOOOO VALE! VALE!!! VALE!!! Rossi “only” finished third but it felt like a win, especially as he beat Marquez which was a big surprise. Everyone expected him to walk it again this year but it was his compatriot Dani Pedrosa who took the victory ahead of Lorenzo. If only there had been a few more laps, I’d say Jorge would have got him and possibly Rossi too. Delighted for Pedrosa though, I think he needed a bit of a confidence boost after being upstaged by his younger team mate all season long.
After the race we decided to stick around and try a spot of face spotting in the paddock. Well not IN the paddock as we didn’t have passes but there’s a fenced area overlooking it that allows the common people to have their taste of the inner sanctum. It didn’t take long to spot some of the riders heading out on their scooters, or sneakily signing some autographs. Of course, as always the only truck with anything resembling a crowd outside it was Rossi’s. Marquez may be the current darling of Moto GP but it’s clear who the fan’s favourite is and will continue to be for at least another two years as he announced a contract extension with Yamaha recently.
I cannot recommend attending a Moto GP race enough, it really is a fantastic event to attend and sure beats sitting around at home or in a bar. It’s looking like Brno is going to hold on to its place on the Moto GP calender for another few years also, which is fantastic as it’s a brilliant event and one of the highlights of the season in my book. So why are you still reading this? Go and book your tickets for next year right now! And buy a tent! Trust me you won’t regret it one bit.